February 16, 2020 12:11 PM NPT
KATHMANDU, Feb 16: Three crocodiles released into the Rapti and Narayani rivers last year have been found dead.
A monitoring of the crocodiles found seven trapped in fishing nets. According to assistant protection officer at the Chitwan National Park, that released the crocodiles, two were found dead in Golaghat area of Narayani and one near the Barahi hotel of Rapti river.
A post-mortem is being carried out to find the reason behind the death of the crocodiles. Earlier in October last year, two crocodiles had been found dead. Only the tail and the satellites installed on them were found. Hence, it has been suspected that the crocodiles were hunted and eaten. Meanwhile, seven crocodiles including four in Rapti and three in Narayani were found trapped in fishing nets.
The CNP authorities are working to free them from the fishing nets. The monitoring also found four male crocodiles in Narayani and one male crocodile in Rapti. The male crocodiles were brought from the Babahi river. A total of 65 persons including experts from CNP and National Trust for Nature Conservation were involved in the monitoring work. The three-day monitoring concluded on Saturday.
The team also saw a dolphin near Bhelauji of the Narayani river. So far, 1,465 Ghadiyal species of crocodile have been released into various rivers from the breeding centre at Kasara of the national park. However, the number of the endangered species has not been able to increase. Pollution in the river is posing challenge to protecting the species.
The latest census shows that there are 118 and 101 crocodiles in the Rapti and Narayani rivers respectively. The breeding centre was established in 1978. Eggs are collected from the banks of the two rivers every year to incubate at the breeding centre.